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World Press Photo of the Year highlights homophobia in Russia


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World Press Photo of the Year highlights homophobia in Russia

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A picture of two gay lovers in St Petersburg has won the World Press Photo of the Year. Photographer Mads Nissen wanted to highlight the legal and social discrimination gay people in Russia face.

The photo in which the faces of Jon, 21, and Alex, 25, are picked out by light in a darkened bedroom, won the ‘contemporary issues’ category before taking the overall prize, beating more conventional conflict shots that the competition is best known for.

“Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia,” Amsterdam-based World Press Photo said in a statement. “Sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination.”

Jury chair Michele McNally, director of photography at The New York Times, said the image was “aesthetically powerful, and it has humanity.”

The photo was taken by Mads Nissen, who was born in 1979, a staff photographer for the Danish daily newspaper Politiken.

Nissen’s “Homophobia in Russia” work featured in Human Rights Watch’s latest report License to Harm.

The first prize for a single spot news image went to Bulent Kilic of Turkey for a picture of an injured girl surrounded by police and soaked by water cannons at a protest in Istanbul.

“Istanbul Protest” and “Ebola in Sierra Leone” also picked up awards in the competition.

World Press Photo 2014 – a selection of the winning entries

  • THE BECKHAM CATCH

    By Al Bello, USA. Photo details Credit: Reuters/Al Bello/Gety Images

  • ORPHANED RHINO

    By Ami Vitale, USA. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Ami Vitale/National Geographic

  • THE FINAL GAME

    By Bao Tailiang, China Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Bao Tailiang/Chengdu Economic Daily.

  • ISTANBUL PROTEST

    By Bulent Kilic, Turkey. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Bulent Kilic/AFP/.

  • FAMILY LOVE 1993-2014

    By Darcy Padilla, USA. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Bulent Kilic/AFP.

  • MASS ABDUCTION IN NIGERIA

    By Glenna Gordon, USA. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Glenna Gordon.

  • JON AND ALEX

    By Mads Nissen, Denmark. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Mad Nissen/Politiken/Panos Pictures/Scanpix.

  • RESCUE OPERATION

    By Massimo Sestini, Italy. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Massimo Sestini.

  • CADETS

    By Paolo Verzone, Italy. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Paolo Verzone/Agence Vu

  • EBOLA IN SIERRA LEONE

    By Pete Muller, USA. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Pete Muller/Prime/National Geographic/The Washington Post/.

  • LAURINDA

    By Raphaela Rosella, Australia. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Raphaela Rosella/Oculi.

  • CHRISTMAS FACTORY

    By Ronghui Chen, China. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Ronghui Chen/City Express.

  • KITCHEN TABLE

    By Sergei Ilnitsky, Russia. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA.

  • BLUE SKY DAYS

    By Tomas Van Houtryve, Belgium. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Tomas van Houtryve/VII.

  • MONKEY TRAINING FOR A CIRCUS

    By Yongzhi Chu, China. Photo details. Credit: Reuters/Yongzhi Chu.

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